By Charles Bourns, broiler grower, Gloucestershire
Firstly, on the puppy front (pictured) I have decided this is my one and only venture as they are more time consuming than looking after the chicken and probably less profitable.
Secondly, I really am fed up with the way food inflation is being portrayed. Yes, food prices are up, but why do they not mention the fact that our prices are coming down. The price I am paid for my chicken price is down over 13% from its peak, milk price is down 35% from its peak and cereals are also down despite the terrible weather.
The reporters sent to cover these stories are always stood beside lemons, avocados and other imported produce.
I also was surprised at one wholesaler’s comment when he was asked about his electric price on one of these reports. He said it was up £10,000 and the customer would have to pay. What a shame we cannot do likewise! Surely, it is about time the primary producer stops supporting everyone else with cheap food. Why shouldn’t we make a living and have our increased costs met?
The one cost that is really worrying me is the cost of borrowing. As I have said before, it has added about £1,000 per month to our costs. Again, there is no likelihood of anything coming back on our liveweight price. The problem as I see it is that no one seems to be really pressing this point home for all businesses. All the emphasis seems to be on mortgage payers and their problems.
On a positive note, the chicken have been performing as the weather has been ideal, never getting too hot or too cold, so we achieved really good growth rates on the JA87 and FCR, which was a bonus and will help meet the above.
Lastly, I would like to welcome Gary Ford back into the industry and Mark Williams on his promotion to the chairmanship of the BEIC, taking over from Andrew Joret who has done an excellent job keeping everything on the straight and narrow. I only wish the poultrymeat industry would follow their example.